The Samsung Galaxy A5 is one of our favorite smartphones in the Sammy range since they released the current S5 flagship. It’s not always about what has the highest specs, sometimes a device just feels great in the hand. What’s more, you’ll struggle to find a prettier press render than the shots that come along with this A-Series. The “5” marks the middle phone in the range. There’s still one that’s more expensive and likely ahead of this handset when it comes to future software updates for that reason. Check out why that’s relevant after the jump.
The new Android 5.0 Lollipop update is rolling out over the air for a bunch of different handsets. The Sammy S5 is one of those. Google and Android always look after their own devices first and then roll the updates out to the manufacturers how they prefer them. That usually means the more expensive devices finding it arriving before the rest. The one exception to that is a Google Play Edition handset, or if they start rolling updates to two different devices and just about the same time (bonus for the cheaper variant).
What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?
When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.
Why Would You Want to Root Android?
Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:
- Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
- Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
- Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
- Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.
What Are the Risks of Rooting?
If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.
With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:
- Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
- You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
- You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.
Anyway, if you want to gain root access on your handset under the same name, you can quickly do that by following Chainfire’s work below. It’s an easy method. Before starting the steps, we recommend checking out the sub-headings, so you don’t miss a beat.
- The Samsung Galaxy A5 comes with Android 4.4.X KitKat out of the box. The current method on this page works for the KitKat software update. We do not recommend you attempt flashing the file if you have downgraded the firmware to an earlier version, or if you are running Android Lollipop at a later date.
- Furthermore, there are several versions of the A5 with different model numbers. Only use this guide for the A500G model number. Check the number by navigating to the Settings, followed by About Device.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- Install the latest USB drivers from the official Samsung website downloads page. You’ll see “Samsung drivers for mobile phones” universal link.
- Make sure you reserve enough battery power to keep the phone on during the flashing.
- You must have a Windows computer to use the Odin application.
- Enable the USB Debugging from the Developer Options menu.
HOW TO ROOT SAMSUNG GALAXY A5 SM-A500G IN ANDROID 4.4.4
1. Download the rooting file for SM-A500G.
2. Download the Odin 3.09 from this link.
3. Extract the contents of both files to the desktop.
4. Reboot the Galaxy A5 in Download Mode.
5. Connect it to the computer now using the USB cable.
6. Click the AP button and upload the tar.md5 file which you extracted to the desktop earlier.
7. Click the start button.
8. Now wait until the process completes.
9. The handset automatically reboots when the program is done.
You’ll have the ports open and ready for installing the root applications as soon as the device reboots. You can get further confirmation everything is working by installing the root checker application from Google Play. If it’s custom ROMs you’re after, then you’ll want to try to find a custom recovery image instead. The root access is purely for installing the root applications, though some custom ROMs do come with root access sometimes as well.